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Monday, May 28, 2007

Epistemology in Copenhagen

The spring conference season is coming to an end. Just got back (to my usual location in Copenhagen) from a very stimulating epistemology conference organized by Klemens Kappel, who (as usual) did a fantastic job. Speakers included: Duncan Pritchard ("A Two-Tiered Relevant Alternatives Theory"), Erik Olsson ("Reliabilism, Stability, and the Value of Knowledge"), Nikolaj Nottelman ("Two Problems of Justification Transmission in Light of the Deontological Conception of Epistemic Justification"), Erik Carlsson [impersonated by Erik Olsson] ("Williamson on the Causal Efficacy of Knowing"), Kristoffer Ahlstrom ("On Empirical Investigation in Epistemology"), Berit Brogaard ("What Mary Did Yesterday: Reflections on Knowledge-wh") and Esben Nedenskov ("What does it take to make sense of skepticism?"). Discussants included (among many others): Lars Bo Gundersen, Eline Busck Gundersen, Jesper Kallestrup, Klemens Kappel, and Anders Schoubye. I talked about knowledge-wh and got great feed-back from the audience, especially from Jesper and Anders. A little anecdote. After Friday's sessions we met at the local corner bar, close to the old KUA. The restaurant Sult, where the conference dinner was supposed to take place, is located just a few kilometers from the conference location (the new KUA), and the weather was super-nice; so Lars Bo Gundersen and I decided to walk. Klemens had explained how to get to the restaurant but Lars and I apparently didn't listen. I guess we thought others would know. As we started walking we realized we had no idea where we were going. I remembered Klemens mention Gothersgade (a street) and Lars remembered him mention Kongens Have (a large park). As we approached those locations we started asking people for directions. But as "Sult" means "Hunger" in Danish, people didn't take us very seriously (the restaurant is actually named after Henning Carlsen's film version of a famous Knut Hamsun novel). When asked, people looked for hidden cameras. Happy ending: we finally found the restaurant but mistakenly entered through the staff door in the back and came out through the kitchen. Anyway, it was a very fun dinner and night, and the next day we were all a bit tired but managed to carry on at a normal activity level with the help of a moderate amount of more or less well-tasting coffee.

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